Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #460 - A Trip to the Mall with Mom
Maybe I am being silly. Maybe this is wholly unnecessary. But it was your birthday, Mom. Your 80th birthday. You have been gone a year and three months, and I wanted to keep my promise to you.
As your last mother's day gift, I gave you the thing that you would love most: a day of shopping at the mall. Not a full day, surely. Not what you used to do when you shopped the mall. After all, the mall is very different now. But I offered to take you there and wheel you through every store, so you could look at everything. And then you died before I fulfilled my promise made by that gift.
And so, on your 80th birthday, I thought it a fitting tribute to go walk around the mall and think about what it would have been like to take you and show you around. I do not strongly regret not getting you there after Mother's Day because in part it was due to your decline that we didn't. And I had taken you on many shopping trips in the last fifteen years, so this would have just been another. In fact, I gave you the gift only because Dad told me you didn't need anything else, that you didn't want anything else. I think we all knew deep down that we were nearing the end even though we had not admitted it to ourselves.
It's also fitting that after I shopped the mall I went to Meijer and did the grocery shopping. You loved Meijer, too, and I took you on MANY expeditions to the "hypermarket," during which I would wheel you up and down nearly every aisle in the entire store, not just grocery, something Dad did not often do (and fairly so). I made mention of these Meijer expeditions here: Hey Mom #14.
Also, I had forgotten that I wrote about this promised visit both in the first post and in Hey Mom #70, in which I officially proclaimed that I had this IOU to you, Mom.
It only took me 390 days from the time of writing the IOU to fulfill the promise (more like a year and a half since I gave the gift).
You loved shopping, Mom. Other people may find this insignificant. It's not like I went to an opera you loved, a favorite museum, the waterfalls in Uruguay, or something like that. For you, it was shopping. You found great joy in shopping. I loved seeing how much you loved it. And you rarely bought things. You mostly just wanted to know what was in the stores, you know, for future reference. You were not really very materialistic. You were not super brand conscious, at least not in a way that conveyed status. And when you did buy things, they were rarely for yourself. You basically spent all year finding little gifts for Christmas and birthdays. Lori benefited more from this shopping method as she liked those knick-knacks and special little things that you would find and buy months in advance.
I always enjoyed how thrilled you would be when I wheeled you along all the aisles in Meijer or the stores in the mall. I loved seeing the happiness on your face. I miss seeing that.
And so, I tried to somewhat re-create our shopping trip, your shopping trips.
Here's where I like to park. As you can see, all the handicapped spots are taken, so we would not have been able to park here. I find this odd as it was Friday afternoon, but apparently that's a major time for handicapped persons at the mall, unless these are cars of employees, which is possible.
I many ways, The Crossroads Mall is much nicer, cleaner, and has more seating and gathering areas, COMFORTABLE areas, than it did in the 1980s and 1990s.
Apparently there were Girl Scouts in the mall leaving notes like this for people. I found this on the display bed in Sleep Number.
I am sorry to tell you, Mom, that I did NOT go through every store. In fact, I entered TWO stores only. Sleep Number was one because [a] it's in the spot where Walden Books used to be and where I worked. I also worked at Arby's which was in the current Food Court area, but I try to forget that I worked there, Also, Liesel and I need more bedding since she bought the king size bed for us.
Should I leave feedback on the web site and share this link?
I am concerned because years ago I was told NOT to photograph anything in the mall as apparently competitors do so or something.
Also, despite the feeling that the mall is like a town square and is public property, it is not. It's private property, and I could be kicked out.
This was your favorite part right here on the second floor heading to JC Penney.
You did like Bath and Body Works a lot, Mom. I almost went in, but I do not like shopping as much as you do, and I did not want to spend money.
I did go into the Hallmark store, which was among your greatest loves, along with Paddywack, which no longer exists. However, this is not the original location of the Hallmark store.
Sbarro's is in the spot where your favorite lunch place existed: TE Murch's. You were such a regular that most of the employee's knew your special lunch and how to prepare it.
I wasn't going to get food here, but I changed my mind. I was hungry. And it was fitting. You always had lunch here when you could come on your own. And I would have bought you lunch if I brought you for your gift, though I am not sure what you would have eaten... probably Chinese, as I did.
I sat at a handicapped accessible table just for you, Mom. There were plenty of other handicapped spaces, so I was not taking a spot for an actual handicapped person who might need it.
As I ate my lunch, a girl scout gave me this note. Seemed fitting. Even more so, if she knew why I was there.
So I had Chinese food.
And then I took an escalator ride, one you took often, as you left Murch's and went to Paddywack, which used to be at the bottom of the escalator here by JC Penney.
Yeah, so I took a video. I am a weird geek, I know. A nerd. But I wanted to capture the moment.
It was a good shopping trip.
I hope you liked it, Mom.
I love you very much. I miss you.
Happy 80th Birthday, Marjorie Ellen Tower.
Partridge Family t-shirt. Also, fitting.
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 462 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1610.09 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.